From the archives of The Memory Hole

Thoughts of School: Taking Education Out of Schools

The downfall and undoing of education in America can be said to have commenced upon the release and implementation of the Cardinal Principles here set forth and submitted for your disapproval. For a probing analysis of the manifesto formally announcing the transference of education from the cognitive to the affective domain, confer Richard Mitchell's The Graves of Academe, Chapter 4, The Seven Deadly Principles.


BULLETIN, 1918, No. 35





Membership of the reviewing committee of the commissionvii
I.The need for reorganization1
II.The goal of education in a democracy3
III.The main objectives of education4
IV.The role of secondary education in achieving these objectives5
2.Command of fundamental processes5
3.Worthy home membership6
5.Civic education7
6.Worthy use of leisure9
7.Ethical character9
V.Interrelation of the objectives in secondary education10
VI.Recognition of the objectives in reorganizing high-school subjects10
VII.Education as a process of growth11
VIII.Need for explicit values11
IX.Subordination of deferred values11
X.Division of education into elementary and secondary12
XI.Division of secondary education into junior and senior periods13
XII.Articulation of secondary education with elementary education13
XIII.Articulation of higher education with secondary education14
XIV.Recognition of the objectives in planning curriculums14
XV.The specializing and unifying functions of secondary education15
XVI.The comprehensive high school as the standard secondary school19
XVII.Recognition of the objectives in organizing the school22
XVIII.Secondary education essential for all youth24
XIX.Part-time schooling as a compulsory minimum requirement24



   (The Reviewing Committee consists of 28 members, of whom 16 are chairmen of committees and 10 are members at large.)

Chairman of the Commission and of the Reviewing Committee:

Clarence D. Kingsley, State high-school supervisor, Boston, Mass.
Members at large:
Hon. P. P. Claxton, United States Commissioner of Education, Washington, D. C.

Thomas H. Briggs, associate professor of education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City.

Alexander Inglis, assistant professor of education, in charge of secondary education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Henry Neumann, Ethical Culture School, New York City.

William Orr, senior educational secretary, international Y. M. C. A. committee, 104 East Twenty-eighth Street, New York City.

William B. Owen, principal Chicago Normal College, Chicago, Ill.

Edward O. Sisson, president University of Montana, Missoula, Mont.

Joseph S. Stewart, professor of secondary education, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.

Milo H. Stuart, principal Technical High School, Indianapolis, Ind.

H. L. Terry, State high-school supervisor, Madison, Wis.

Chairmen of Committees:
Organization and Administration of Secondary Education—Charles Hughes Johnston, professor of secondary education, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.1

Agriculture—A. V. Storm, professor of agricultural education, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn.

Art Education—Henry Turner Bailey, dean, Cleveland School of Art, Cleveland, Ohio.

Articulation of High School and College—Clarence D. Kingsley, State high-school inspector, Boston, Mass.

Business Education—Cheesman A. Herrick, president, Girard College, Philadelphia, Pa.

Classical Languages—Walter Eugene Foster, Stuyvesant High School, New York City.

English—James Fleming Hosic, Chicago Normal College, Chicago, Ill.

Household Arts—Mrs. Henrietta Calvin, United States Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C.

Industrial Arts—Wilson H. Henderson, extension division, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis. (now Major Sanitary Corps, War Department, U. S. A.)

Mathematics—William Heard Kilpatrick, associate professor of education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City.

1 Deceased, Sept. 4, 1917.



Chairmen of Committees - Continued.

Modern Languages-Edward Manley, Englewood High School, Chicago, Ill.

Music - Will Earhart, director of music, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Physical Education - James H McCurdy, director of normal courses of physical education, International Y. M. C. A. College, Springfield, Mass. (now in France, in charge of Y. M. C. A. recreation work).

Sciences - Otis W. Caldwell, director, Lincoln School, and professor of education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City.

Social Studies - Thomas Jesse Jones, United States Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C.

Vocational Guidance - Frank M. Leavitt, associate superintendent of schools, Pittsburgh, Pa.



Secondary education should be determined by the needs of the society to be served, the character of the individuals to be educated, and the knowledge of educational theory and practice available. These factors are by no means static. Society is always in process of development; the character of the secondary-school population undergoes modification; and the sciences on which educational theory and practice depend constantly furnish new information. Secondary education, however, like any other established agency of society, is conservative and tends to resist modification. Failure to make adjustments when the need arises leads to the necessity for extensive reorganization at irregular intervals. The evidence is strong that such a comprehensive reorganization of secondary education is imperative at the present time.

1. Changes in society.—Within the past few decades changes have taken place in American life profoundly affecting the activities of the individual. As a citizen, he must to a greater extent and in a more direct way cope with problems of community life, State and National Governments, and international relationships. As a worker, he must adjust himself to a more complex economic order. As a relatively independent personality, he has more leisure. The problems arising from these three dominant phases of life are closely interrelated and call for a degree of intelligence and efficiency on the part of every citizen that can not be secured through elementary education alone, or even through secondary education unless the scope of that education is broadened.

The responsibility of the secondary school is still further increased because many social agencies other than the school afford less stimulus for education than heretofore. In many vocations there have come such significant changes as the substitution of the factory system for the domestic system of industry; the use of machinery in place of manual labor; the high specialization of processes with a corresponding subdivision of labor; and the breakdown of the apprentice system. In connection with home and family life have frequently come lessened responsibility on the part of the children; the withdrawal of the father and sometimes the mother from home oc-


cupations to the factory or store; and increased urbanization, resulting in less unified family life. Similarly, many important changes have taken place in community life, in the church, in the State, and in other institutions. These changes in American life call for extensive modifications in secondary education.

2. Changes in the secondary-school population.—In the past 25 years there have been marked changes in the secondary-school population of the United States. The number of pupils has increased, according to Federal returns, from one for every 210 of the total population in 1889-90, to one for every 121 in 1899-1900, to one for every 89 in 1909-10, and to one for every 73 of the estimated total population in 1914-15. The character of the secondary-school population has been modified by the entrance of large numbers of pupils of widely varying capacities, aptitudes, social heredity, and destinies in life. Further, the broadening of the scope of secondary education has brought to the school many pupils who do not complete the full course but leave at various stages of advancement. The needs of these pupils can not be neglected, nor can we expect in the near future that all pupils will be able to complete the secondary school as fulltime students.

At present only about one-third of the pupils who enter the first year of the elementary school reach the four-year high school, and only about one in nine is graduated. Of those who enter the seventh school year, only one-half to two-thirds reach the first year of the four-year high school. Of those who enter the four-year high school about one-third leave before the beginning of the second year, about one-half are gone before the beginning of the third year, and fewer than one-third are graduated. These facts can no longer be safely ignored.

3. Changes in educational theory.—The sciences on which educational theory depends have within recent years made significant contributions. In particular, educational psychology emphasizes the following factors:

(a) Individual differences in capacities and aptitudes among secondary-school pupils.—Already recognized to some extent, this factor merits fuller attention.

(b) The reexamination and reinterpretation of subject values and the teaching methods with reference to “general discipline.”—While the final verdict of modern psychology has not as yet been rendered, it is clear that former conceptions of “general values” must be thoroughly revised.

(c) Importance of applying knowledge.—Subject values and teaching methods must be tested in terms of the laws of learning and the application of knowledge to the activities of life, rather than


primarily in terms of the demands of any subject as a logically organized science.

(d) Continuity in the development of children.—It has long been held that psychological changes at certain stages are so pronounced as to overshadow the continuity of development. On this basis secondary education has been sharply separated from elementary education. Modern psychology, however, goes to show that the development of the individual is in most respects a continuous process and that, therefore, any sudden or abrupt break between the elementary and the secondary school or between any two successive stages of education is undesirable.

The foregoing changes in society, in the character of the secondary school population, and in educational theory, together with many other considerations, call for extensive modifications of secondary education. Such modifications have already begun in part. The present need is for the formulation of a comprehensive program of reorganization, and its adoption, with suitable adjustments, in all the secondary schools of the Nation. Hence it is appropriate for a representative body like the National Education Association to outline such a program. This is the task entrusted by that association to the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education.


Education in the United States should be guided by a clear conception of the meaning of democracy. It is the ideal of democracy that the individual and society may find fulfillment each in the other. Democracy sanctions neither the exploitation of the individual by society, nor the disregard of the interests of society by the individual. More explicitly—

The purpose of democracy is so to organize society that each member may develop his personality primarily through activities designed for the well-being of his fellow members and of society as a whole.

This ideal demands that human activities be placed upon a high level of efficiency; that to this efficiency be added an appreciation of the significance of these activities and loyalty to the best ideals involved; and that the individual choose that vocation and those forms of social service in which his personality may develop and become most effective. For the achievement of these ends democracy must place chief reliance upon education.

Consequently, education in a democracy, both within and without the school, should develop in each individual the knowledge, interests, ideals, habits, and powers whereby he will find his place and use that place to shape both himself and society toward ever nobler ends.



In order to determine the main objectives that should guide education in a democracy, it is necessary to analyze the activities of the individual. Normally he is a member of a family, of a vocational group, and of various civic groups, and by virtue of these relationships he is called upon to engage in activities that enrich the family life, to render important vocational services to his fellows, and to promote the common welfare. It follows, therefore, that worthy home membership, vocation, and citizenship demand attention as three of the leading objectives.

Aside from the immediate discharge of these specific duties, every individual should have a margin of time for the cultivation of personal and social interests. This leisure, if worthily used, will recreate his powers and enlarge and enrich life, thereby making him better able to meet his responsibilities. The unworthy use of leisure impairs health, disrupts home life, lessens vocational efficiency, and destroys civic-mindedness. The tendency in industrial life, aided by legislation, is to decrease the working hours of large groups of people. While shortened hours tend to lessen the harmful reactions that arise from prolonged strain, they increase, if possible, the importance of preparation for leisure. In view of these considerations, education for the worthy use of leisure is of increasing importance as an objective.

To discharge the duties of life and to benefit from leisure, one must have good health. The health of the individual is essential also to the vitality of the race and to the defense of the Nation. Health education is, therefore, fundamental.

There are various processes, such as reading, writing, arithmetical computations, and oral and written expression, that are needed as tools in the affairs of life. Consequently, command of these fundamental processes, while not an end in itself, is nevertheless an indispensable objective.

And, finally, the realization of the objectives already named is dependent upon ethical character, that is, upon conduct founded upon right principles, clearly perceived and loyally adhered to. Good citizenship, vocational excellence, and the worthy use of leisure go hand in hand with ethical character; they are at once the fruits of sterling character and the channels through which such character is developed and made manifest. On the one hand, character is meaningless apart from the will to discharge the duties of life, and, on the other hand, there is no guaranty that these duties will be rightly discharged unless principles are substituted for impulses, however well-intentioned such impulses may be. Consequently, ethical character is at once involved in all the other objectives and at the same


time requires specific consideration in any program of national education.

This commission, therefore, regards the following as the main objectives of education: 1. Health. 2. Command of fundamental processes. 3. Worthy home membership. 4. Vocation. 6. Citizenship. 6. Worthy use of leisure. 7. Ethical character.

The naming of the above objectives is not intended to imply that the process of education can be divided into separated fields. This can not be, since the pupil is indivisible. Nor is the analysis all-inclusive. Nevertheless, we believe that distinguishing and naming these objectives will aid in directing efforts; and we hold that they should constitute the principal aims in education.


The objectives outlined above apply to education as a whole—elementary, secondary, and higher. It is the purpose of this section to consider specifically the role of secondary education in achieving each of these objectives.

For reasons stated in Section X, this commission favors such reorganization that secondary education may be defined as applying to all pupils of approximately 12 to 18 years of age.

1. Health.—Health needs can not be neglected during the period of secondary education without serious danger to the individual and the race. The secondary school should therefore provide health instruction, inculcate health habits, organize an effective program of physical activities, regard health needs in planning work and play, and cooperate with home and community in safeguarding and promoting health interests.

To carry out such a program it is necessary to arouse the public to recognize that the health needs of young people are of vital importance to society, to secure teachers competent to ascertain and) meet the needs of individual pupils and able to inculcate in the entire

student body a love for clean sport: to furnish adequate equipment, for physical activities, and to make the school building, its rooms and surroundings, conform to the best standards of hygiene and sanitation.1

2. Command of fundamental processes.—Much of the energy of the elementary school is properly devoted to teaching certain fundamental processes, such as reading, writing, arithmetical computations, and the elements of oral and written expression. The facility that a child of 12 or 14 may acquire in the use of these tools is not sufficient

1 For the outlines of a health program, see a report of this commission issued by the Bureau of Education as Bulletin, 1917, No. 50, “Physical Education in Secondary Schools.”


for the needs of modern life. This is particularly true of the mother tongue. Proficiency in many of these processes may be increased more effectively by their application to new material than by the formal reviews commonly employed in grades seven and eight. Throughout the secondary school, instruction and practice must go hand in hand, but as indicated in the report of the committee on English,1 only so much theory should be taught at any one time as will show results in practice.

3. Worthy home membership.—Worthy home membership as an objective calls for the development of those qualities that make the individual a worthy member of a family, both contributing to and deriving benefit from that membership.

This objective applies to both boys and girls. The social studies should deal with the home as a fundamental social institution and clarify its relation to the wider interests outside. Literature should interpret and idealize the human elements that go to make the home.

Music and art should result in more beautiful homes and in greater joy therein. The coeducational school with a faculty of men and women should, in its organization and its activities, exemplify wholesome relations between boys and girls and men and women.

Home membership as an objective should not be thought of solely with reference to future duties. These are the better guaranteed if the school helps the pupils to take the right attitude toward present home responsibilities and interprets to them the contribution of the: home to their development.

In the education of every high-school girl, the household arts should have a prominent place because of their importance to the girl herself and to others whose welfare will be directly in her keeping. The attention now devoted to this phase of education is inadequate, and especially so for girls preparing for occupations not related to the household arts and for girls planning for higher institutions. The majority of girls who enter wage-earning occupations directly from the high school remain in them for only a few years, after which home making becomes their lifelong occupation. For them the high-school period offers the only assured opportunity to prepare for that lifelong occupation, and it is during this period that they are most likely to form their ideals of life’s duties and responsibilities. For girls planning to enter higher institutions—

our traditional ideals of preparation for higher institutions are particularly incongruous with the actual needs and future responsibilities of girls. It would seem that such high-school work as is carefully designed to develop capacity for, and interest in, the proper management and conduct of a home should be regarded as of importance at least equal to that of any other work.

1 Bureau of Education, Bulletin. 1917, No. 2, “Reorganization of English in Secondary Schools.”


We do not understand how society can properly continue to sanction for girls high-school curriculums that disregard this fundamental need, even though. such curriculums are planned in response to the demands made by some of the colleges for women.2

In the education of boys, some opportunity should be found to give them a basis for the intelligent appreciation of the value of the well-appointed home and of the labor and skill required to maintain such a home, to the end that they may cooperate more effectively. For instance, they should understand the essentials of food values, of sanitation, and of household budgets.

4. Vocation.—Vocational education should equip the individual to secure a livelihood for himself and those dependent on him, to serve society well through his vocation, to maintain the right relationships toward his fellow workers and society, and, as far as possible, to find in that vocation his own best development.

This ideal demands that the pupil explore his own capacities and aptitudes, and make a survey of the world’s work, to the end that he may select his vocation wisely. Hence, an effective program of vocational guidance in the secondary school is essential.3

Vocational education should aim to develop an appreciation of the significance of the vocation to the community. and a clear conception of right relations between the members of the chosen vocation, between different vocational groups, between employer and employee, and between producer and consumer. These aspects of vocational education, heretofore neglected, demand emphatic attention.

The extent to which the secondary school should offer training for a specific vocation depends upon the vocation, the facilities that the school can acquire, and the opportunity that the pupil may have to obtain such training later. To obtain satisfactory results those proficient in that vocation should be employed as instructors and the actual conditions of the vocation should be utilized either within the high school or in cooperation with the home, farm, shop, or office. Much of the pupil’s time will be required to produce such efficiency.

5. Civic education should develop in the individual those qualities whereby he will act well his part as a member of neighborhood, town or city, State, and Nation, and give him a basis for understanding international problems.

For such citizenship the following are essential: A many-sided interest in the welfare of the communities to which one belongs; loyalty to ideals of civic righteousness; practical knowledge of social agencies and institutions; good judgment as to means and methods that will promote one social end without defeating others; and as

Report of the Committee on the Articulation of High School and College, 1911.

2 For a comprehensive program of vocational guidance see a report of this commission issued as Bureau of Education Bulletin, 1918, No. 19, “Vocational Guidance In Secondary Schools.”


putting all these into effect, habits of cordial cooperation in social undertakings.

The school should develop the concept that the civic duties of men and women, while in part identical, are also in part supplementary. Differentiation in civic activities is to be encouraged, but not to the extent of loss of interest in the common problems with which all should cope.

Among the means for developing attitudes and habits important in a democracy are the assignment of projects and problems to groups of pupils for cooperative solution and the socialized recitation whereby the class as a whole develops a sense of collective responsibility. Both of these devices give training in collective thinking. Moreover, the democratic organization and administration of the school itself as well as the cooperative relations of pupil and teacher, pupil and pupil, and teacher and teacher, are indispensable. While all subjects should contribute to good citizenship, the social studies—geography, history, civics, and economics—should have this as their dominant aim. Too frequently, however, does mere information, conventional in value and remote in its bearing, make up the content of the social studies. History should so treat the growth of institutions that their present value may be appreciated. Geography should show the interdependence of men while it shows their common dependence on nature. Civics should concern itself less with constitutional questions and remote governmental functions, and should direct attention to social agencies close at hand and to the informal activities of daily life that regard and seek the common good. Such agencies as child-welfare organizations and consumers’ leagues afford specific opportunities for the expression of civic qualities by the older pupils.

The work in English should kindle social ideals and give insight into social conditions and into personal character as related to these conditions. Hence the emphasis by the committee on English on the importance of a knowledge of social activities, social movements, and social needs on the part of the teacher of English.

The comprehension of the ideals of American democracy and loyalty to them should be a prominent aim of civic education. The pupil should feel that he will be responsible, in cooperation with others, for keeping the Nation true to the best inherited conceptions of democracy, and he should also realize that democracy itself is an ideal to be wrought out by his own and succeeding generations.

Civic education should consider other nations also. As a people we should try to understand their aspirations and ideals that we may deal more sympathetically and intelligently with the immigrant coming to our shores, and have a basis for a wiser and more


sympathetic approach to international problems. Our pupils should learn that each nation, at least potentially, has something of worth to contribute to civilization and that humanity would be incomplete without that contribution. This means a study of specific nations, their achievements and possibilities, not ignoring their limitations. Such a study of dissimilar contributions in the light of the ideal of human brotherhood should help to establish a genuine internationalism, free from sentimentality, founded on fact, and actually operative in the affairs of nations.1

6. Worthy use of leisure. -—Education should equip the individual to secure from his leisure the recreation of body, mind, and spirit, and the enrichment and enlargement of his personality.

This objective calls for the ability to utilize the common means of enjoyment, such as music, art, literature, drama, and social intercourse, together with the fostering in each individual of one or more special vocational interests.

Heretofore the high school has given little conscious attention to this objective. It has so exclusively sought intellectual discipline that it has seldom treated literature, art, and music so as to evoke right emotional response and produce positive enjoyment. Its presentation of science should aim, in part, to arouse a genuine appreciation of nature.

The school has failed also to organize and direct the social activities of young people as it should. One of the surest ways in which to prepare pupils worthily to utilize leisure in adult life is by guiding and directing their use of leisure in youth. The school should, therefore, see that adequate recreation is provided both within the school and by other proper agencies in the community. The school, however, has a unique opportunity in this field because it includes in its membership representatives from all classes of society and consequently is able through social relationships to establish bonds of friendship and common understanding that can not be furnished by other agencies. Moreover, the school can so organize recreational activities that they will contribute simultaneously to other ends of education, as in the case of the school pageant or festival.

7. Ethical character.—In a democratic society ethical character becomes paramount among the objectives of the secondary school. Among the means for developing ethical character may be mentioned the wise selection of content and methods of instruction in all subjects of study, the social contacts of pupils with one another and with their teachers, the opportunities afforded by the organization

1 For a further discussion of civic education, see the reports or this commission on The Teaching of Community Civics and Social Studies in Secondary Education, issued as Bureau of Education Bulletins, 1915, No. 23, and 1916, No. 28, respectively.


and administration of the school for the development on the part of pupils of the sense of personal responsibility and initiative and, above all, the spirit of service and the principles of true democracy which should permeate the entire school—principal, teachers, and pupils.

Specific consideration is given to the moral values to be obtained from the organization of the school and the subjects of study in the report of this commission entitled “Moral Values in Secondary Education.”1 That report considers also the conditions under which it may be advisable to supplement the other activities of the school by offering a distinct course in moral instruction.


This commission holds that education is essentially a unitary and continuous process, and that each of the objectives defined above must be recognized throughout the entire extent of secondary education. Health needs are evidently important at all stages; the vocational purpose and content is coming properly to be recognized as a necessary and valuable ingredient even in the early stages and even when specific preparation is postponed; citizenship and the worthy use of leisure, obviously important in the earlier stages, involve certain phases of education that require maturity on the part of the pupil and hence are indispensable also in the later stages of secondary education.

Furthermore, it is only as the pupil sees his vocation in relation to his citizenship and his citizenship in the light of his vocation that he will be prepared for effective membership in an industrial democracy. Consequently, this commission enters its protest against any and all plans, however well intended, which are in danger of divorcing vocation and social-civic education. It stands squarely for the infusion of vocation with the spirit of service and for the vitalization of culture by genuine contact with the world’s work.


Each subject now taught in high schools is in need of extensive reorganization in order that it may contribute more effectively to the objectives outlined herein, and the place of that subject in secondary education should depend upon the value of such contribution. In Section IV of this report various references have been made to needed changes. For fuller treatment the reader is referred to re-

1 Bureau of Education Bulletin, 1917, No. 51.


ports of this commission dealing with the several subjects. These reports indicate important steps in such modifications. In each report the commission attempts to analyze the aims in terms of the objectives; to indicate the adaptation of methods of presentation to the aims accepted; and to suggest a selection of content on the basis of aims and, methods.


Education must be conceived as a process of growth. Only when so conceived and so conducted can it become a preparation for life. In so far as this principle has been ignored, formalism and sterility have resulted.

For example, civic education too often has begun with topics remote from the pupil’s experience and interest. Reacting against this formalism, some would have pupils study only those activities in which they can engage while young. This extreme, however, is neither necessary nor desirable. Pupils should be led to respond to present duties and, at the same time, their interest should be aroused in problems of adult life. With this interest as a basis, they should be helped to acquire the habits, insight, and ideals that will enable them to meet the duties and responsibilities of later life. Similarly in home-making education, to neglect present duties and responsibilities toward the family of which the pupil is now a member, is to court moral insincerity and jeopardize future right conduct. With present duties as a point of departure, home-making education should arouse an interest in future home-making activities and with that interest as a basis give the training necessary.


The number of years that pupils continue in school beyond the compulsory school age depends in large measure upon the degree to which they and their parents realize that school work is worth while for them and that they are succeeding in it. Probably in most communities doubt regarding the value of the work offered causes more pupils to leave school than economic necessity. Consequently, it is important that the work of each pupil should be so presented as to convince him and his parents of its real value.


Many subjects are now so organized as to be of little value unless the pupil studies them for several years. Since a large proportion of pupils leave school in each of the successive years, each subject should be so organized that the first year of work will be of definite


value to those who go no further; and this principle should be applied to the work of each year. Courses planned in accordance with this principle will deal with the simpler aspects, or those of more direct application, in the earlier years and will defer the refinements for later years when these can be better appreciated. The course as a whole will then be better adapted to the needs both of those who continue and of those who drop out of school.


Individual differences in pupils and the varied needs of society alike demand that education be so varied as to touch the leading aspects of occupational, civic, and leisure life. To this end curriculums1 must be organized at appropriate stages and the work of pupils progressively differentiated.

To accomplish this differentiation most wisely the pupil should be assisted ordinarily at about 12 or 13 years of age to begin a preliminary survey of the activities of adult life and of his own aptitudes in connection therewith, so that he may choose, at least tentatively, some field of human endeavor for special consideration. Following the period of preliminary survey and provisional choice, he should acquire a more intimate knowledge of the field chosen, including therewith an appreciation of its social significance. Those whose schooling ends here should attain some mastery of the technique involved. The field chosen will be for some as sharply defined as a specific trade; for others, it will be but the preliminary choice of a wider domain within which a narrower choice will later be made.

These considerations, reinforced by others, imply, in the judgment of this commission, a redivision of the period devoted to elementary and secondary education. The eight years heretofore given to elementary education have not, as a rule, been effectively utilized. The last two of these years in particular have not been well adapted to the needs of the adolescent. Many pupils lose interest and either drop out of school altogether or form habits of dawdling, to the serious injury of subsequent work. We believe that much of the difficulty will be removed by a new type of secondary education beginning at about 12 or 13. Furthermore, the period of four years now allotted to the high school is too short a time in which to accomplish the work above outlined.

We, therefore, recommend a reorganization of the school system whereby the first six years shall be devoted to elementary education

1 The term “curriculum” is used by this commission to designate a systematic arrangement of subjects, and courses in those subjects, both required and elective, extending through two or more years and designed for a group of pupils whose common aims and probable careers may properly differentiate a considerable part of their work from that of other groups in the school.


designed to meet the needs of pupils of approximately 6 to 12 years of age; and the second six years to secondary education designed to meet the needs of pupils of approximately 12 to 18 years of age.


The six years to be devoted to secondary education may well be divided into two periods which may be designated as the junior and senior periods. In the junior period emphasis should be placed upon the attempt to help the pupil to explore his own aptitudes and to make at least provisional choice of the kinds of work to which he will devote himself. In the senior period emphasis should be given to training in the fields thus chosen. This distinction lies at the basis of the organization of junior and senior high schools.

In the junior high school there should be the gradual introduction of departmental instruction, some choice of subjects under guidance, promotion by subjects, prevocational courses, and a social organization that calls forth initiative and develops the sense of personal responsibility for the welfare of the group.

In the senior high school a definite curriculum organization should be provided by means of which each pupil may take work systematically planned with reference to his needs as an individual and as a member of society. The senior high school should be characterized by a rapidly developing social consciousness and by an aptitude of self-reliance based upon clearly perceived objectives.

Under ordinary circumstances the junior and senior periods should each be three years in length so as to realize their distinctive purposes. In sparsely settled communities where a senior high school can not be maintained effectively the junior high school may well be four years in length so that the pupils may attend school nearer to their homes for one more year.

The commission is not unmindful of the desirability, when funds permit, of extending secondary education under local auspices so as to include the first two years of work usually offered in colleges, and constituting what is known as the “junior college,” but it has seemed unwise for the commission to attempt to outline the work of this new unit.


Admission to high school is now, as a rule, based upon the completion of a prescribed amount of academic work. As a result many over-age pupils either leave school altogether or are retained in the elementary school when they are no longer deriving much benefit


from its instruction. Should a similar conception of the articulation of the two schools continue after the elementary program has been shortened to six years, similar bad results will persist. Experience in certain school systems, however, shows that the secondary school can provide special instruction for over-age pupils more successfully than the elementary school can. Consequently we recommend that secondary schools admit, and provide suitable instruction for, all pupils who are in any respect so mature that they would derive more benefit from the secondary school than from the elementary school.


In view of the important role of secondary education in achieving the objectives essential in American life, it follows that higher institutions of learning are not justified in maintaining entrance requirements and examinations of a character that handicap the secondary school in discharging its proper functions in a democracy.

As stated in Section XII of this report, the secondary school should admit all pupils who would derive greater benefit from the secondary than from the elementary school. With the demand of democratic society for extended liberal and vocational education for an ever-increasing number of persons, the higher institutions of learning, taken as a whole, are under a similar obligation with reference to those whose needs are no longer met by the secondary school and are disposed to continue their education. The conception that higher education should be limited to the few is destined to disappear in the interests of democracy.

The tradition that a particular type of education, and that exclusively nonvocational in character, is the only acceptable preparation for advanced education, either liberal or vocational, must therefore give way to a scientific evaluation of all types of secondary education as preparation for continued study. This broader conception need not involve any curtailment of opportunities for those who early manifest academic interest to pursue the work adapted to their needs. It does, however, mean that pupils who, during the secondary period, devote a considerable time to courses having vocational content should be permitted to pursue whatever form of higher education, either liberal or vocational, they are able to undertake with profit to themselves and to society.


No curriculum in the secondary school can be regarded as satisfactory unless it gives due attention to each of the objectives of education outlined herein.


Health, as an objective, makes imperative an adequate time assignment for physical training and requires science courses properly focused upon personal and community hygiene, the principles of sanitation, and their applications. Command of fundamental processes necessitates thorough courses in the English language as a means of taking in and giving forth ideas. Worthy home-membership calls for the redirection of much of the work in literature, art, and the social studies. For girls it necessitates adequate courses in household arts. Citizenship demands that the social studies be given a prominent place. Vocation as an objective requires that many pupils devote much of their time to specific preparation for a definite trade or occupation, and that some pursue studies that serve as a basis for advanced work in higher institutions. The worthy use of leisure calls for courses in literature, art, music, and science so taught as to develop appreciation. It necessitates also a margin of free electives to be chosen on the basis of personal avocational interests.

Due recognition of these objectives will provide the elements of distribution and concentration which are recognized as essential for a well-balanced and effective education.


1. Their significance.—The ideal of a democracy, as set forth in Section II of this report, involves on the one hand specialization whereby individuals and groups of individuals may become effective in the various vocations and other fields of human endeavor, and on the other hand unification whereby the members of that democracy may obtain those common ideas, common ideals, and common modes of thought, feeling, and action that make for cooperation, social cohesion, and social solidarity.

Without effective specialization on the part of groups of individuals there can be no progress. Without unification in a democracy there can be no worthy community life and no concerted action for necessary social ends. Increasing specialization emphasizes the need for unification, without which a democracy is a prey to enemies at home and abroad.

2. The specializing function.—Secondary education in the past has met the needs of only a few groups. The growing recognition that progress in our American democracy depends in no small measure upon adequate provision for specialization in many fields is the chief cause leading to the present reorganization of secondary education. Only through attention to the needs of various groups of individuals as shown by aptitudes, abilities, and aspirations can the secondary school secure from each pupil his best efforts. The school must capi-


talize the dominant interest that each boy and girl has at the time and direct that interest as wisely as possible. This is the surest method by which hard and effective work may be obtained from each pupil.

Specialization demands the following provisions in secondary education:

(a) A wide range of subjects.—In order to test and develop the many important capacities and interests found in pupils of secondary-school age, the school should provide as wide a range of subjects as it can offer effectively.

(b) Exploration and guidance.—Especially in the junior high school the pupil should have a variety of experience and contacts in order that he may explore his own capacities and aptitudes. Through a system of educational supervision or guidance he should be helped to determine his education and his vocation. These decisions should not be imposed upon him by others.

(c) Adaptation of content and methods.—The content and teaching methods of every study should be adapted to the capacities, interests, and needs of the pupils concerned. In certain studies these factors may differ widely for various groups of pupils, e.g., chemistry should emphasize different phases in agricultural, commercial, industrial, and household-arts curriculums.

(d) Flexibility of organization and administration.—Flexibility should be secured by “election” of studies or curriculum, promotion by subjects from the beginning of the junior high school, possible transfer from curriculum to curriculum, provision for maximum and minimum assignments for pupils of greater and less ability, and, under certain conditions, for the rapid or slow progress of such pupils.

(e) Differentiated curriculums.—The work of the senior high school should be organized into differentiated curriculums. The range of such curriculums should be as wide as the school can offer effectively. The basis of differentiation should be; in the broad sense of the term, vocational, thus justifying the names commonly given, such as agricultural, business, clerical, industrial, fine-arts, and household-arts curriculums. Provision should be made also for those having distinctively academic interests and needs. The conclusion that the work of the senior high school should be organized on the basis of curriculums does not imply that every study should be different in the various curriculums. Nor does it imply that every study should be determined by the dominant element of that curriculum. Indeed any such practice would ignore other objectives of education just as important as that of vocational efficiency.


3. The unifying function.—In some countries a common heredity, a strongly centralized government, and an established religion contribute to social solidarity. In America racial stocks are widely diversified, various forms of social heredity come into conflict, differing religious beliefs do not always make for unification, and the members of different vocations often fail to recognize the interests that they have in common with others. The school is the one agency that may be controlled definitely and consciously by our democracy for the purpose of unifying its people. In this process the secondary school must play an important part because the elementary school with its immature pupils can not alone develop the common knowledge, common ideals, and common interests essential to American democracy. Furthermore, children of immigrant parents attend the secondary school in large and increasing numbers; secondary education comes at a stage in the development of boys and girls when social interests develop rapidly; and from the secondary school the majority of pupils pass directly into participation in the activities of our society.

The unifying function calls for the following provisions in secondary education:

(a) Studies of direct value for this purpose, especially the social studies and the mother tongue, with its literature.

(b) The social mingling of pupils through the organization and administration of the school.

(c) The participation of pupils in common activities in which they should have a large measure of responsibility, such as athletic games, social activities, and the government of the school.

4. Specialization and unification as supplementary functions.—With increasing specialization in any society comes a corresponding necessity for increased attention to unification. So in the secondary school, increased attention to specialization calls for more purposeful plans for unification. When there was but little differentiation in the work within the secondary school, and the pupils in attendance were less diversified as to their heredity and interests, social unification in the full sense of the term could not take place.

The supplementary character of these functions has direct bearing upon the subjects to be taken by secondary-school pupils. To this end the secondary school should provide the following groups of studies:

(a) Constants, to be taken by all or nearly all pupils. These should be determined mainly by the objectives of health, command of fundamental processes, worthy home-membership, citizenship, and ethical character.


(b) Curriculum variables, peculiar to a curriculum or to a group of related curriculums. These should be determined for the most part by vocational needs, including, as they frequently do, preparation for advanced study in special fields.

(c) Free electives, to be taken by pupils in accordance with individual aptitudes or special interests, generally of a nonvocational nature. These are significant, especially in preparation for the worthy use of leisure.

The constants should contribute definitely to unification, the curriculum variables to specialization, and the free electives to either or both of these functions.

In the seventh year—that is, the first year of the junior high school—the pupil should not be required to choose at the outset the field to which he will devote himself. For those who do not at this time have a definite purpose, opportunity should be given to gain some experience with several significant types of work, such as some form of industrial arts, gardening or other agricultural activity, typewriting or problems drawn from business, household arts for girls, and for at least a part of the pupils some work in a foreign language. It may be found feasible to organize several such subjects or projects into short units and to arrange the schedule so that every pupil may take several of them. The work thus offered may and should be of real educational value, in addition to its exploratory value.

In the two following years of the junior high school, some pupils should continue this trying-out process, while others may well devote one-fourth to one-half of their time to curriculum variables. Pupils who will probably enter industry at the end of the ninth grade may well give as much as two-thirds of their time to vocational preparation, but they must not be permitted to neglect preparation for citizenship and the worthy use of leisure.

In the senior high school the relative proportion of these three groups of subjects will vary with the curriculum. Pupils who are to enter a gainful occupation before the completion of the senior high school may well devote a large proportion of their time to the curriculum variables, especially during their last year in school.

In brief, the greater the time allowed for curriculum variables, the more purposeful should be the time devoted to the constants in order that the school may be effective as an agency of unification. Above all, the greater the differentiation in studies, the more important becomes the social mingling of pupils pursuing different curriculums.

The supplementary character of the specializing and unifying functions has a direct bearing also upon the type of high school best suited to the needs of democratic society, as discussed in the next section.



The comprehensive (sometimes called composite, or cosmopolitan) high school, embracing all curriculums in one unified organization, should remain the standard type of secondary school in the United States.

Junior high schools must be of the comprehensive type, whatever policy be adopted for the senior high schools, since one of the primary purposes of the junior high school is to assist the pupil through a wide variety of contacts and experiences to obtain a basis for intelligent choice of his educational and vocational career. In the judgment of the commission senior high schools and four-year high schools of the older organizations should, as a rule, be of the comprehensive type for the following reasons:

1. For effectiveness of vocational education.—When effectively organized and administered (see pp.—to—) the comprehensive high school can make differentiated education of greater value to the individual and to society, for such value depends largely upon the extent to which the individual pursues the curriculum best suited to his needs. This factor is of prime importance, although frequently ignored in discussions regarding the effectiveness of vocational and other types of differentiated education.

In a system of special-type schools many influences interfere with the wise choice of curriculum. Thus many pupils choose the high school nearest to their homes, or the school to which their friends have gone or are going, or the school that provides the most attractive social life or has the best athletic teams. Still others are unwisely influenced by the notions of neighbors and friends of the family. After entering a special-type school, many pupils drop out because the work is not adapted to their needs, while comparatively few transfer to another school.

In a comprehensive school the influences interfering with a wise choice of curriculum may be reduced to a minimum. When an unwise choice has been made the pupil may be greatly aided in discovering a curriculum better adapted to his needs because he can see other work in the school, talk with school companions, and confer with teachers who are able to give him expert advice regarding such curriculums. When such a pupil has found a curriculum better adapted to his needs, he can be transferred to it without severance of school relationships and, what seems to him, the sacrifice of school loyalty.

Moreover, pupils in comprehensive schools have contacts valuable to them vocationally, since people in every vocation must be able to deal intelligently with those in other vocations, and employers and employees must be able to understand one another and recognize


common interests. Similarly, teachers in comprehensive schools have a better opportunity to observe other curriculums and are thereby better able to advise pupils intelligently.

Summarizing under this head, the well-organized comprehensive school can make differentiated education of greater value than can the special-type school, because it aids in a wise choice of curriculum, assists in readjustments when such are desirable, and provides for wider contacts essential to true success in every vocation.

2. For unification.—When administered by a principal who himself recognizes the social value of all types of secondary education and inspires a broad spirit of democracy among teachers and pupils, the comprehensive high school is a better instrument for unification. Through friendships formed with pupils pursuing other curriculums and having vocational and educational goals widely different from their own, the pupils realize that the interests which they hold in common with others are, after all, far more important than the differences that would tend to make them antagonistic to others. Through school assemblies and organizations they acquire common ideas. Through group activities they secure training in cooperation. Through loyalty to a school which includes many groups they are prepared for loyalty to State and Nation. In short, the comprehensive school is the prototype of a democracy in which various groups must have a degree of self-consciousness as groups and yet be federated into a larger whole through the recognition of common interests and ideals. Life in such a school is a natural and valuable preparation for life in a democracy.

3. For objectives other than vocation.—A comprehensive high school can provide much more effectively for health education, education for the worthy use of leisure, and home-making education than a number of smaller special-type schools can.

The most effective health education requires adequate equipment and instructors competent to diagnose health needs and direct health activities. Expenses and difficulties of duplication of such facilities in every smaller special-type school are almost prohibitive. Preparation for the worthy use of leisure is best achieved when there is a wide variety of activities from which pupils may select, such as arts and crafts clubs, literary and debating societies, and musical organizations. All of these require for their success enthusiastic leadership such as can best be secured from a large faculty. Girls in all curriculums should have the advantages of work in household arts under efficient directors and with adequate equipment. Such conditions are most readily provided in tile comprehensive school where there is a strong department of household arts.


With the establishment of a special-type high school it frequently happens that various important phases of education are neglected or minimized in the other schools of that system.

4. For accessibility.—In cities large enough to require more than one high school it is desirable to have each school so located as to serve a particular section of the city, thereby reducing the expense and loss of time involved in travel on the part of pupils. The proximity of the school to the homes results also in greater interest in education on the part of pupils and parents, and consequently increases the drawing and holding power of the school.

5. Adaptation to local needs.—In recommending the comprehensive high school as the standard secondary school the commission recognizes that in large cities where two or more high schools are needed it is not always possible to provide every curriculum in each high school, such a practice being precluded by the fact that certain curriculums would thereby enroll in the several schools too few pupils to permit economical organization and administration. In such cases a few curriculums may well appear in selected comprehensive schools or even in a single school only, while other curriculums appear in every school.

The commission also recognizes the impracticability of offering every curriculum in every small rural high school. In such cases it is desirable that a curriculum for which the number of pupils does not war r ant such duplication should be offered in selected schools, and that pupils needing that curriculum should go to those schools. This plan is substantially the same as that recommended for the large city.

6. Effective organization of curriculums in comprehensive high schools.—Finally, the commission recognizes that in the past relatively ineffective instruction has been afforded in some comprehensive schools. This has been due in part to the fact that everywhere vocational education has been passing and is still passing through a period of experimentation. The commission believes, however, that the most serious defect in vocational education in the comprehensive high school has been due to a lack of proper organization and administration. Effective vocational education can not be secured when administered like so many accidental groupings of subjects. To remedy this situation the commission recommends that each curriculum, or group of closely related curriculums, in the large comprehensive high school be placed under the supervision of a director whose task it shall be to organize that curriculum and maintain its efficiency. The curriculum directors must work under the general direction of the principal, who must be the coordinator of all the activities of the school. Especially is it necessary that each director


shall be selected with the same care that would be exercised in choosing the principal of a special-type school enrolling as many pupils as are enrolled in the curriculum or curriculums under his direction. In medium-sized high schools unable to employ directors for the various curriculums, the teachers should be organized into committees to consider the problems of the various curriculums, all working under the direction of the principal.

Unless the various curriculums are effectively organized and administered, and unless the democratic spirit pervades the school, the comprehensive high school is in danger of failure, with these factors present, it has every promise of success.


The objectives must determine the organization, or else the organization will determine the objectives. If the only basis upon which a high school is organized is that of the subjects of study, each department being devoted to some particular subject, there will result an overvaluation of the importance of subjects as such, and the tendency will be for each teacher to regard his function as merely that of leading the pupils to master a particular subject, rather than that of using the subjects of study and the activities of the school as means for achieving the objectives of education. The departmental organization is desirable but needs to be supplemented. The two following methods are suggested:

(A) The principal’s council.

The principal may select from his teachers a council, each member of which shall be charged with the responsibility of studying the activities of the school with reference to a specific objective. Plans for realizing these objectives should be discussed by the principal and the council. Without impairing in any way the ultimate responsibility of the principal, it will, as a rule, increase the efficiency of the school if the principal encourages initiative on the part of these council members and delegates to them such responsibilities as he finds they can discharge. The members of such a council and their duties are suggested as follows:

Health director.—This council member should seek to ascertain whether the health needs of the pupils are adequately met. For this purpose he should consider the ventilation and sanitation of the building, the provisions for lunch, the posture of pupils, the amount of home work required, the provisions for physical training, and the effects of athletics. He should find out whether the pupils are having excessive social activities outside of school, and devise means for gaining the cooperation of parents in the proper regulation of


work and recreation. He may well see whether the teaching of biology is properly focused upon hygiene and sanitation.

Citizenship director.—The citizenship director should determine whether the pupils are developing initiative and the sense of personal responsibility. He should foster civic-mindedness through the school paper, debating society, and general school exercises, and give suggestions for directing the thinking of the pupils to significant problems of the day.

Curriculum directors.—As discussed in Section XVI of this report, for each important group of vocations for which the school offers a curriculum, or group of curriculums, there should be a director to study the needs of these vocations and find out the respects in which the graduates are succeeding or failing in meeting legitimate vocational demands. With the knowledge thus gained he should strive to improve the work offered by the school.

One of these curriculum directors should have charge of preparation for colleges and normal schools. He should obtain the records of graduates attending those schools and find out the strong and weak points in their preparation. He will advise with pupils intending to enter these institutions as to the work that they should take in the high school.

Director of vocational and educational guidance.—This member of the council should collect data regarding various vocational and educational opportunities and the qualifications needed. If the school is small, he may help individual pupils in acquiring an intelligent attitude toward the choice of a vocation or of a higher education; but if the school is large, he must train others who can know the pupils more intimately, to assist in this service, always holding himself ready to give advice.

Director of preparation for leisure.—This council member should, so far as possible, see that the pupils are developing interests that will assist them in later life to use their leisure wisely. He should consider especially the musical organizations, the school library, the art clubs and classes, and the various ways in which pupils are spending their leisure.

The large school may have need for additional directors to deal with other vital phases of education.

(B) By committees.

The principal may appoint committees of teachers each of which would be charged with duties similar to those described. An advantage of the committee plan is that a larger number of teachers will be stimulated to acquire a broad educational point of view.

Theoretically, it is possible for the principal himself to supervise the teaching and direct all the activities of the school. Practically,


however, the majority of administrators tend to become absorbed in a few aspects of education. In fact, intensive creative work along any one line on the part of the principal leads naturally to at least a temporary neglect of the other aspects of education. Consequently, either a principal’s council or committees of teachers seem essential in order that none of the objectives may be neglected.

It is not intended that the council or the committees should in any way lessen the ultimate responsibility of the principal, but that by this means the cooperation of the entire teaching body may be secured and all the objectives held in view.


To the extent to which the objectives outlined herein are adopted as the controlling aims of education, to that extent will it be recognized that an extended education for every boy and girl is essential to the welfare, and even to the existence, of democratic society. The significance of these objectives is becoming more and more apparent under modern conditions in our democracy. These conditions grow out of increased knowledge of science with its rapidly extending applications to all the affairs of life, keener competition with its attendant dangers, closer contacts of peoples of varied racial and religious types, and greater assertiveness of all men and women in the control of their own destinies. These and many other tendencies increase the significance of health, worthy home-membership, vocation, citizenship, the worthy use of leisure, and ethical character.

Each of these objectives requires for its realization not only the training, and habit formation that the child may secure but also the intelligence and efficiency that can not be developed before adolescence. In fact, their realization calls for the full period allotted to both the junior and senior high schools.

Consequently, this commission holds that education should be so reorganized that every normal boy and girl will be encouraged to remain in school to the age of 18, on full time if possible, otherwise on part time.


As stated in Section I of this report, only one American youth in about three reaches the first year of the four-year high school, and only one in about nine remains in school to the end of the high school course. This condition is, in the last analysis, due principally to four causes: First, the limited range of instruction commonly offered by secondary schools; second, the failure on the part of the school adequately to demonstrate to young people and their parents


the value of the education offered; third, the lure of employment, together with the desire for increased economic independence on the part of young persons; and fourth, economic pressure in the family, real or imagined.

The first of these causes is rapidly disappearing through the introduction of curriculums with rich vocational content. The second may be removed by subordinating deferred values and reorganizing instruction so as to make the values more evident to the learner, as discussed in Sections VIII and IX. The third may be diminished in its effect by greater virility in school work. Economic pressure will continue until social conditions can be materially improved.

In the meantime, a sound national policy dictates the urgent need for legislation whereby all young persons, whether employed or not, shall be required to attend school not less than eight hours in each week that schools are in session until they reach the age of 18.

Attendance for eight hours in each week will make possible important progress not only in vocational efficiency but also in the promotion of health, preparation for worthy home-membership, civic intelligence and efficiency, the better utilization of leisure, and ethical development. All these objectives are evidently as important for the young worker as for those who remain in full-time attendance at school.

The value of part-time instruction, if properly organized, is out of all proportion to the time involved, because it can utilize as a basis the new experiences of the young worker and his new social and civic contacts. Moreover, continued attendance at school will afford an intellectual stimulus too often lacking to these young persons under the modern subdivision of labor.

Consequently this commission recommends the enactment of legislation whereby all young persons up to the age of 18, whether employed or not, shall be required to attend the secondary school not less than eight hours in each week that the schools are in session.

In some States it may be held to be impracticable at the outset to require such part-time attendance beyond the age of 16 or 17, but the commission holds that the imperative needs of American democracy can not be met until the period is extended to 18.

To make this part-time schooling effective it will be necessary to adapt it specifically to the needs of the pupils concerned. Moreover, teachers must be trained for this new type of work. Without such provisions there is great danger of failure and a consequent reaction against this most valuable extension of secondary education.

In view of the importance of developing a sense of common interest and social solidarity on the part of the young worker and those of his fellows who are continuing in full-time attendance at school,


it appears to this commission that this part-time education should be conducted in the comprehensive secondary school rather than in separate continuation schools, as is the custom in less democratic societies. By this plan the part-time students and the full-time students may share in the use of the assembly hall, gymnasium, and other equipment provided for all. This plan has the added advantage that the enrollment of all pupils may be continuous in the secondary school, thus furthering employment supervision on the one hand and making easier a return to full-time attendance whenever the lure of industry or the improvement of economic conditions in the family makes such a return inviting and feasible.

The part-time attendance for eight hours a week of all persons between 14 and 18 who are not now in school will require a large increase in the teaching force in secondary schools. No other single piece of educational legislation could, however, do more to raise the level of intelligence and efficiency and to insure the welfare of democracy.


In concluding this report on the cardinal principles of secondary education the commission would call attention to its 17 other reports in which the principles herein set forth are applied to the various aspects of secondary education. The reports now available are listed on the last page of this bulletin, and others are nearly ready for publication. One report will consider in detail the application of these principles to the organization and administration of secondary schools. Thirteen reports deal with the aims, methods, and content of the various subjects of study and curriculums in the light of these principles. Three others discuss vocational guidance, physical education, and the moral values that should be derived from secondary school organization and instruction.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the problems of secondary education merit much more serious attention than they have received heretofore. The study of the best methods for adapting secondary education to the needs of modern democratic life is but begun. The physical, intellectual, emotional, and ethical characteristics of young people are still but vaguely comprehended. Such knowledge of social needs and educational theory and practice as is already available has been seriously studied by comparatively few administrators and teachers. Progress will depend very largely upon adequate professional training of teachers both before and after entering upon service. Plans must be adopted for pooling the results of successful experimentation on the part of individual teachers. To make the reorganization effective, competent supervision and con-


structive leadership must be provided in the various fields of secondary education.

It is the firm belief of this commission that secondary education in the United States must aim at nothing less than complete and worthy living for all youth, and that therefore the objectives described herein must find place in the education of every boy and girl.

Finally, in the process of translating into daily practice the cardinal principles herein set forth, the secondary school teachers of the United States must themselves strive to explore the inner meaning of the great democratic movement now struggling for supremacy. The doctrine that each individual has a right to the opportunity to develop the best that is in him is reinforced by the belief in the potential, and perchance unique, worth of the individual. The task of education, as of life, is therefore to call forth that potential worth.

While seeking to evoke the distinctive excellencies of individuals and groups of individuals, the secondary school must be equally zealous to develop those common ideas, common ideals, and common modes of thought, feeling, and action, whereby America, through a rich, unified, common life, may render her truest service to a world seeking for democracy among men and nations.

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